Sylvanus Obasi, CEO, Platform Communications Concept and Convener of AMSAY Conference – Annual Maritime Students & Youth Conference also known as “A Day With Nigerian Maritime Students” is one of the few Nigerian youths that are making impact in the society. The mass communicator from Olabisi Onabanjo University is a worthy personality and positive influence to thousands of young people.
Mr. Obasi shares in the philosophy of the great Wanda Sykes that “If you feel like there’s something out there that you’re supposed to be doing, if you have a passion for it, then stop wishing and just do it.” He is a determined, focused, result-oriented and dynamic young man that has created a niche for himself in the maritime industry. In this interview with Impact Mission Initiative, he shares with us, deep secrets that command success in life.
Enjoy the excepts:
1.Tell us about yourself
My name is Sylvanus Obasi. I am an indigene of Mmaku in Awgu Local Government Area of Enugu State. A graduate of Mass Communications from Olabisi Onabanjo, University, Ogun State. I came into the maritime sector in 2012 after graduation and since then, I have been into so many things. I am currently the CEO, Platform Communication Concept.
2. Effect of Covid- 19 on Businesses
Covid-19 has affected so many businesses and my own in particular as a media and event person. Platforms Communications host some yearly events. The first is the Annual Maritime Students & Youth Conference (AMSAY Conference) which usually holds on the 27 May each year.
The Second event is the pet project of the Face Of Maritime Queens, which is ‘Girls-Go-To-Sea Campaign’. This project requires the Maritime Queens to go to secondary schools to sensitize and encourage young girls to pursue a career in the maritime sector.
The third event is the Face of Maritime International (FOMI) beauty contest. We have to adopt online registration now hoping to audition them after Covid-19.
The only wing of our company that is active now is our online newspaper. We work from home and ensure our news are published online. So, basically the Covid-19 has caused us to put everything on hold till further notice.
3. Tell us More About the Event, “A Day with Nigerian Maritime Students”.
It is a platform that converge both the Maritime Students and the industry practitioners to discuss critical issues affecting the future of the Nigerian maritime industry. Just like families prepare their children to take over their family business; ‘A Day with Nigerian Maritime Students’ provides a succession plan for the maritime sector.
It’s the coming together of the old and young to discuss the challenges faced by the young ones and position them as future ambassadors of the industry. This year will make it the fifth edition of the conference. We introduced Awards for the best Graduating Maritime Students to honour the outstanding ones. So, it is actually a platform where every Maritime Academy and their students are proud of and look forward to it yearly.
It avails the students the opportunity to meet one on one with the industry practitioners and also gives them a sense of belonging in the industry.
4. Maritime Beauty Pageant
The Face of Maritime International (FOMI) beauty pageant is an industry pageant of international standards which advocates greater participation of women in the maritime sector.
So, we are using the pageant to change the perception that maritime is not only for men. We sensitize and encourage young girls to pick a career in the maritime sector. So, we don’t just crown Queens for crowning sake, but we give them a mandate which is to champion the “Girls-Go-To-Sea Campaign” as their pet-project.
And this has to do with enlightening young girls, creating awareness among secondary school girls about career opportunities for girls in the maritime sector so they can choose to study maritime related courses at the tertiary education level and then better position themselves to take career opportunities available for women in the maritime sector.
5. Expectation at this year’s events
The Maritime Student’s conference will come up as soon as the Coronavirus pandemic is over. New date shall be announced to the public. As always, we try to improve on the standard of our events every year. So, this year, we are looking forward to a better outing in all ramifications.
The Face Of Maritime International (FOMI) will be the same thing; we are hopeful that the pandemic will be over soon for us to call for audition. This time, the expectation will be too high being the fifth edition. So, we are preparing for the best in all our events.
6. Government ‘s Efforts on Covid- 19
Well, we are all aware that Lagos State has the highest number of Covid- 19 cases in the country. To me, the state government has shown some level of proactiveness when it started providing more covid-19 centers and facilities even when the total number of confirmed cases in the state were still around 100 patients.
Another thing is the ability to manage information and give prompt update to the people. One thing we must note is that, it is not easy to manage any virus outbreak like this one without vaccine or cure. Let’s not forget that Lagos is a peculiar state with its own existing problems like over-population, inadequate infrastructures, traffic congestion and others.
So, for the government to still be able to handle this pandemic in the manner it has done so far, I must commend them. The state has also given out some palliatives to some citizens which helps to cushion the effect of the lockdown.
7. Advice to the Unemployed Youths.
My advice is simple! Every young Nigerian irrespective of your qualification, should get their hands engaged. Recall that before renaissance era, before industrialization took over the world and people started working for others in their factories and companies. The olden people were living on their handwork. Every household was known for a handwork such as blacksmith, carpentry, bricklaying, shoemaking, art work and others.
In this era, thank God for the internet that has given us the opportunity to learn certain skills on our own. My analysis has shown that, before the Covid- 19, we had the problem of unemployment and now the pandemic has surfaced; it’s going to be worse.
A lot of people will be laid off their jobs because companies are shutting down. No more business as usual. So, my advice to the youths is to go back to skills irrespective of your certification. Have a handwork aside from your qualification, look inward and discover what handwork you can do that you didn’t see before.
8. Philosophy of Life
The philosophy that has kept me going in life is: ‘what is worth doing is worth doing well’. Anything that needs my attention to handle it, I have to handle it very well. I strive for excellence in all I do. I try to improve and avoid being stagnant.
Again, I also believe in positive energy. Yes! A lot of us have energy, some are positive while some are negative. So, positive energy to me means applying good attitude in anything good you are doing and vice versa. For instance, all the events I have been involved in this sector is not just to make money out of it but the passion to add value.
Like the students conference we host, it is absolutely free for the students. Through the support of some stakeholder companies and government agencies, we are able to organize the event for them. Sometimes, after the event, we are left with little or nothing, but we keep on doing it for the value it is adding.
I do advice people around me to show passion first in whatever you want to do, not money. But unfortunately, people look out for money first. So, for me, hard-work, passion and positive attitude is my philosophy.
Credit: Impact Mission Initiative.